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Old 06-24-11, 05:11 PM
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Moved home from College, how to stay sane in a distracting environment?

Ok so, after increasingly frustrating myself "circling the airport" for weeks now, decided to see what others thought. For the impatient, just jump to the last paragraph.

Long story short : College, own apartment, lots of control, graduated, moved home, chaos and loss of control.

Essentially, I survived college by complete minimalism. If something was distracting, I either locked it away, threw it out, or stored it in my car. My computer and phone were both filtered (distracting stuff blocked), and my girlfriend had all the passwords and combinations to keep me from unlocking them impulsively.

I had a desk, and my planner was always in one place. It was always within reach, and within sight. Also, studio apartment, so the kitchen is steps away, and I ate at my work desk, so again, planner was right there with me.

Now I'm home, in a two story house with 3 other people. I've procrastinated updating my resume and finishing some incomplete schoolwork for a month now, and the guilt/frustration/anxiety from not getting anywhere is really getting to me.

If I want to eat, I have to go downstairs, where the dining room has a huge tv, which I inevitably get sucked in to. Even if I don't, there are so many other things beyond my control which distract me.

Essentially, half the time, going downstairs for a 5 minute snack often eats up hours of time. I also keep getting sucked in to doing errands and other random things.

My family wasn't particularly receptive to my ADD diagnosis, and I don't plan on even bringing it up.

So, the main question : My primary tactic in managing ADHD has been simple: don't rely on will power. If something is distracting, remove/filter/limit it. Now I can't do that. How do you keep yourself on track in a fundamentally distracting environment ?
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Old 06-24-11, 05:20 PM
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Re: Moved home from College, how to stay sane in a distracting environment?

Simple: Failure is always an option. But whether I filter out everything I possibly can, or I just live in a normal house - I will always find something to distract me. But the last few days I've learned that by just allowing me to get distracted, I get better results than just trying to do it the "normal" way.

PS: You could also try to have a food storage in your bedroom, so you can limit the moments where you need to come down.
If it bothers you so much, I'm sure you could make it a goal to go and live on yourself. Finishing everything you have to do to find a job, then to find a place: with the end goal: Your own, minimalistic appartment.
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Old 06-24-11, 06:03 PM
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Re: Moved home from College, how to stay sane in a distracting environment?

Take control of your territory. Be minimalist in your room and mentally section it off from the rest of the household. Find a way to lock your computer similarly to how it was managed before, if possible.

If your room is the only place you can focus, then buy snacks/drinks and stash it in your room. Or go early in the morning to precook/stock up food and don't leave your room till you're done studying.

Be a recluse when you're working. Keep your door closed, and answer all knocks or calls for you with 'Sorry I'm busy. Gimme ____ hours/minutes'. Make up the name of a large school project if you need to justify the sudden change in behaviour, and don't come out of your room till you're done.

It will take some time for your family to adjust and they may even engage in attention seeking behaviour and feel hurt. Wait until after you're done studying/doing work for the day to come out, socialize, and spend time with your family.

And make sure you take the time off work nurturing those relationships and assuaging egos so your family stops feeling threatened. In time, by staying firm about your boundaries and being loving when around, they will become respectful of your personal space.
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Old 06-27-11, 06:26 AM
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Re: Moved home from College, how to stay sane in a distracting environment?

I'm in a similar situation. I haven't moved home quite yet. Another month or so till I (fingers crossed) finish my degree, then financially I'll have few options but to move home.

And I really don't want to. It's not that I don't love my parents. Because I do. It's not that they're not supportive. Because they are. They just don't get it.

My family is one of these always chaotic, always disorganized, never on time, hoards everything kind of family. And like most households we have all the distractions that can make my life hell. Our house is in a permanent state of disarray and everybody is always either on the go or polar opposite veging out, grudging having to move.

I don't want to move home, because after 4 years away I've found so many coping strategies that work wonders for me, and I feel much more in control of my life and generally just better.

My Mum asks why I can't transfer those things back to living at home (because I managed to cope at home before I went to uni) but I just can't. It's completely different now (I managed before because I didn't know any different).

Now the thought of moving home makes me feel anxious because I dislike the person I revert back to at home and the way I start to feel. All this however makes me feel guilty because my parents get upset that I feel I can't live with them etc *sigh*

I'm still in the middle of the diagnosis process, but ADHD makes sense to everyone. It's hard for my parents because they can't understand. Although, having said that I see quite a few ADHD traits in the rest of my family too. I don't know how to explain how I feel to my parents without disappointing or upsetting them. I know, and they know, that one day I will move out, and that I need to and it will all be fine. At the moment though, I don't think its the physicality and logistics of it, more my mentality and just the whole principle of me now feeling unable to live with my family, if that makes sense?
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Old 06-27-11, 08:24 AM
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Re: Moved home from College, how to stay sane in a distracting environment?

jsut want to say that i relate A LOT to relying on minimalism to cope (and i totally get that it's not just a study/job thing...it's a requisite component of even potentially getting through the day without driving myself ****ing insane on a very practical/basic level). and, sure, you do have to make effort...all the medication in the world won't make you stay on task if you actively don't make any effort to do something and/or expressly make effort to do something else. i agree with the post above that you need to stake out your territory and operate within it as much as possible/needed to set yourself up for success. coping strategies are...well...there a loads that *could* work, maybe, and have for somebody. in my experience...those that work *for me* are few and far between. hang on to any that work.
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